I work with a divorced mother of two who is eligible to retire, but she continues to show up to her job every day. “Why don’t you retire,” I’ve asked her on several occasions. “Because my kids need me to pay for college,” she retorts. This obligation for baby boomers seems to be pervasive. My colleague usually goes on to explain that she would rather pay for her kids now than when they are drop-outs living at home. What she doesn’t realize though is this may happen anyway because there are plenty of graduates living with Mom and Dad. According to Zero Hedge, “Back in 1999, a quarter of all 25-year-olds lived with their parents. By 2013 this number doubled, and currently half of young adults live in their parents’ home.”
I’ve said it many times but apparently not enough. This was once a time when a young person could work their way through college and graduate without any loans. Now parents and students are both working only to be encumbered with a student loan once junior moves back home. According to Anthony P. Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, “Today, almost every college student works, but you can’t work your way through college anymore. Even if you work, you have to take out loans and take on debt.” This is the typical result of a government that sets out to make college “more affordable.”
For those lucky enough to have parents who properly saved for their college education, disaster can still strike. Kim, a college student from Atlanta, gained national prominence when she admitted to liquidating her $90,000 college fund before reaching her senior year. “It’s not my fault. Maybe [my parents] should have taught me to budget or something. They never sat me down and had a real serious talk about it.” When the host suggested that Kim get a part-time job, Kim replied, “That’s embarrassing. I know [my parents are] trying to teach me a lesson and blah blah blah and character building but, like, I hope they realize [working part-time] could have such a negative effect on my grades and as a person.” I’m not making this up dear reader!
As Robert Kiyosaki wrote in his acclaimed book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, “Money without financial intelligence is money soon gone.”